3 Parental Perceptions of Secular School Education and Human Capital Formation
3.1 Introduction In countries where sending children to school for basic education is not obligatory, the formation of human capital is largely dependent on the parents’ decisions. Their perceptions regarding the existing type of secular school education compared to other available alternate activities for their children, such as religious schooling, child labor, and/or remaining inactive, might affect their decision. This may determine the level of human capital formation and the country’s literacy rates in coming years. Previous literature on the issue of decision-making regarding childhood activities, such as education, child labor, etc., emphasized the importance of the parents’ level of education. It has been empirically shown that better educated parents have better educated children (Haveman and Wolfe 1995; Hertz et al. 2007; and Pronzato 2010). Hence, parental education is an important policy issue, as it is likely that increasing current secular school education would enhance the schooling of the next generation. Meanwhile, there is a lack of consensus as to whether both the paternal and maternal secular school education has the same impact on the intergenerational transmission of education. In their studies on the intergenerational transmission of schooling, Behrman and Rosenzweig (2002) and Duryea and Arends-Kuenning (2003), found that the father’s formal schooling is a more important factor. On the other hand, other literature emphasizes that maternal education is more effective for the schooling of the children.59 The importance of understanding the intergenerational transfer of education cannot be ignored in the context of most of the medium to low developing...
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